James H. Hilton Coliseum

Hilton Coliseum by night

There's no place quite like it in college basketball. When more than 14,000 loyal, screaming fans invade beautiful James H. Hilton Coliseum, it's the biggest party in the Midwest! The place isn't just loud, it's deafening. And over the last decade, Hilton Magic is responsible for college basketball's biggest home court advantage. According to the Raleigh (N.C.) News & Observer, Iowa State owns the best home court advantage in the nation, ranking ahead of such powerhouses such as Indiana, Arizona, North Carolina and Duke.

Fans have watched the Cyclones compile a 102-25 mark (80.3 winning percentage) during the last eight years. Iowa State posted 10 or more home victories in the last eight-straight seasons, including a 16-0 campaign in 1992-93.

Hilton Coliseum, also the home of Cyclone volleyball, wrestling, and gymnastics as well as commencements, concerts, assemblies, and conventions, has swelled to allow more than 15,000 fans to watch Iowa State basketball games and theater-in-the-round performances.

A record basketball crowd of 15,000 saw the Cyclones post a 97-94 win over Iowa in 1971. ISU and Iowa also set a national attendance record for a dual wrestling meet before a crowd of 14,057 in 1982. Iowa State played host to Texas in the first round of the National Invitation Tournament (NIT) in 1987 and drew the largest first-round crowd in the country (13,347).

Hilton indoor
Seating for over 14,000

Hilton Coliseum boasts four dressing rooms, including the recently remodeled men's and women's varsity basketball locker rooms and a state-of-the-art training room.

The Raymond and Kathryn Engel Basketball Offices, which house both the men's and women's basketball staffs, were dedicated in February of 1995. The state-of-the-art offices include a team room, film room and individual offices for each member of the men's and women's coaching staffs. Located on the second floor of Hilton is a large media room. The basketball media facilities are located courtside in addition to camera and radio booths on the south concourse.

The recessed color television lighting is among the finest in the nation, and a state-of-the-art scoreboard, complete with a color message center, was installed during the 1985-86 season.

Since its completion in 1971, Hilton Coliseum has been the site of many NCAA and Big Eight championship events. The NCAA Midwest Regional Basketball Championship was played in Hilton in 1972, and the NCAA wrestling and gymnastics championships have both been contested at Hilton. The 1982 NCAA Wrestling Championship at ISU was termed the most financially successful in grappling tournament history, and the 1988 and 1993 NCAA Wrestling Championship were also overwhelming successes.

Major entrances are located at the elevated walkway level to minimize conflict between pedestrians and vehicles. Specialized design treatment and sound systems provide surprisingly good acoustical quality for such a large arena.

Also included in the facility are seven meeting rooms, the coliseum offices, athletic equipment storage areas, and a lower concourse area that will house a complete mobile television trailer only a few feet beyond the basketball baseline.

Hilton Coliseum is part of the $27 million Iowa State Center, first conceived by then Iowa State president Dr. James H. Hilton in 1954. The basic plan had been completed in 1956 when Hilton retired.

The coliseum cost $8,165,000 and was financed by gifts and a $6.8 million bond issue backed by student fees. Iowa State's first basketball game in Hilton was against Arizona on December 2, 1971, a game the Cyclones won by a score of 71-54.

Also included in the Iowa State Center are the 44,500-seat Jack Trice Stadium, C.Y. Stephens Auditorium, Fisher Theater and Scheman Continuing Education Building. The center contains a lighted, paved parking lot for 4,000 vehicles.